spanning an archipelago of volcanic islands in the atlantic ocean, cabo verde is an isolated country located off the coast of western africa. on são vicente, one of cabo verde’s ten islands, where local architecture firm ramos castellano architects has completed a hotel complex for a french trekking guide. the client had purchased a old colonial house on the outskirts of the town center, and asked the architects to develop a hotel for tourists who want to explore the nearby island of santo antão, using the historic property as a starting point.


all images by sergio pirrone

 

 

by using the same implantation philosophy of the surrounding buildings, ramos castellano architects adapted the complex’s separate units to the existing terrain. designed in response to the sun’s path throughout the day, each block is oriented to face a different view of the island — from the city to the bay. the breakfast-bar building has been positioned to shield the site from the strong winds that blow in from the sahara desert. all rooms at the terra lodge hotel promote cross ventilation and passive climatization strategies.


the client had purchased a green colonial house on the outskirts of the town center

 

 

as the remote island has a lack of material and resources, the architects sought to simplify the design as much as possible. from the floor finishes to the furniture, many of the elements that make up the scheme are handmade and have been crafted by local people. wood has been used for the buildings’ gridded verandahs, while lime putty has been used to clad the hotel’s brilliant white structures.


the architects adapted the complex’s separate units to the existing terrain

 

 

from an environmental standpoint, roofs feature photovoltaic panels, while water is re-used on site for irrigation. recycled materials have also been used throughout the design. while the surrounding buildings contain 12 hotel rooms plus a suite, the colonial house now contains the premises of the client’s tourist agency. on its roof is a terrace where guests can enjoy a daily breakfast and views out onto the bay.


guests can enjoy breakfast and views out onto the bay from the roof terrace


a wooden bridge connects the two parts of the design


each room is oriented to face a different view of the island — from the city to the bay


wood has been used for the buildings’ gridded verandahs


the hotel complex also includes an outdoor swimming pool


the hotel is primarily for tourists who want to explore the nearby island of santo antão


an elevated building has been positioned to shield the site from strong winds


cabo verde spans an archipelago of volcanic islands in the atlantic ocean

 

 

project info:

 

location: mindelo, são vicente, cabo verde
client: terra lodge
studio: ramos castellano arquitectos
architects in charge: eloisa ramos, moreno s. castellano
works supervision: moreno s. castellano
collaborators: camille cellier, marvin delgado
structural engineer: ilidio alexandre
builder: duka
carpenters: daniel cabanas, rui, mestre pulu

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